Monday, 5 October 2020

A Matter of Sax: Christian Schneider

A slight pselling mitsake in the Balance of Power sleeve notes for Christian
#1,535: Fans of the Electric Light Orchestra (including, naturally, Yours Truly KJS) playing their newly purchased copies of their new LP "Balance Of Power" (Epic EPC26467) back in early March 1986 were not only surprised by the bright red artwork and a new logo, they also experienced a significant change in the familiar ELO sound too from their previous outing "Secret Messages" (Jet JETLX527).

The trademark orchestral sound was nowhere to be seen but "Balance Of Power" did contain a new string to the proverbial ELO bow with several contributions from German saxophonist Christian Schneider.

Likely drafted in courtesy of legendary ELO engineer Mack alongside Tom Thiel when the album was completed at Hartmann Digital Studios in Untertrubach following initial sessions in The Bahamas at Compass Point, Christian added sublime solos to album trax "Getting To The Point" and "Sorrow About To Fall" as well as "Destination Unknown", a song that failed to make the original album release but did turn up on the 12" single 'B' sides of "Calling America" in the UK (Epic QTA6844) and "So Serious" in Holland (Epic EPC 12.7090) before also being included in the 3CD boxed set "Afterglow" (Epic Associated Z3K46090) in the States four years later.
Christian Schneider in The Welcome Home Band (l) and live in Munich 1989 (r)
Christian Schneider (who is now nearly 58 years of age) has enjoyed an impressive, extensive and long career as a saxophonist, keyboardist, percussionist and producer in his native Germany having also been a member of The Jean Shy Band, Mimi, Schatzi and The Welcome Home Band. He is particularly noted for his involvement with Westernhagen Live project in 1990.

KJS: "Just wondering if you remember meeting Christian Schneider during the Balance of Power sessions?"
Bev Bevan: "Aha! ... yes ... I was at that session ... great sax player!"

Despite the unfortunate misspelling of his surname in the "Balance Of Power" credits, Christian Schneider certainly does deserve to be the subject of this elobeatlesforever (elobf) article celebrating his unique part in the Electric Light Orchestra story!

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 05-Oct-2020 ***

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